Saturday, August 27, 2005

Today's USA

Sampled from the Onion

Okapi Visuals

The lair has grown to accomodate a photo blog.

Friday, August 26, 2005

The Day After

Thursday, 10:18 am. – The boss is in the Dominican Republic, so Cyrus is basking in passive-aggressive tardiness to work (for the third time this week). Jody calls to see if Cyrus is actually going to work because of the newly-formed minimal hurricane heading towards Palm Beach that might cause some gusty breezes and light flooding in Miami. Wise Cyrus declares that “these people are always so dramatic. So we get a little rain? Who cares?”

Thursday, 2:00 pm. – Cyrus and Olga (friend and co-worker) decide to stop making business oriented phone calls, because everyone seems to have closed up shop. Melodramatic realtors. Cyrus and Olga volley lunch ideas. Steve’s Pizza? Ethiopian? Indian? Okay, Chinese all-you-can-eat buffet it is. The sky is all swirly and sheets of rain batter the restaurant while Cyrus and Olga laugh at how stupid everyone is when it comes to sub-tropical weather patterns.

Thursday, 4:37 pm. – Bzhoooom. The power goes out at the office. Both Cyrus and Olga note the violent chop in the bay and the powerful gusts that make driving across the causeway back to our barrier island apartments slightly challenging. Hmm.

Thursday, 6:00 pm. – Cyrus has no trouble finding parking. It’s a little creepy. Cyrus heads to Ocean Drive where Cyrus’ boyfriend Rodrigo works to check in and give him a rain poncho to walk home in. There is some laughter, at Mariah’s expense, about how upset she must be that her pre-MTV video music awards glitter yacht party had to be moved to an undisclosed location because of the weather. Then, Cyrus heads home.

Thursday, 6:15 pm. – Looking like an Anderson Cooper exclusive, Cyrus dodges flying objects and pelting rain as he makes his way home. He starts to wonder if he has underestimated this weather event, just a little.

Thursday, 10:00 pm. – Olga, Brandie, Rodrigo and Cyrus are hunkered down with board games and popcorn. Some crazy shit is going down outside. Cyrus’ friend Stimpy in Atlanta is a total natural disaster enthusiast and calls intermittently with updates, because of course, there is no internet access or television. He lets Cyrus and company know that they’ve got several more hours of 80 mph winds and that a new expressway extension has collapsed. Cyrus and Olga have slight scuffle over who is the bigger dumbass.

Friday, 1:30 am. – Olga, Rodrigo and Cyrus venture outside to see if everything’s still there. Almost all the roads are blocked with toppled trees and street signs. A huge banyan tree has been literally blown apart with its branches strewn up and down 14th Street. Olga notices a lone mourning dove sitting quietly in a clump of banyan branch in the middle of the street. They move the branch to the sidewalk with the dove intact. The group celebrates their animal rescue ant then tries to walk onto the beach to see what the ocean looks like, but are unable as they receive the most thorough, and agonizing beach sand exfoliant ever. The wind shreds their rain ponchos to bits as they scamper back across downed palm trees, flying newspaper boxes and miscellaneous missiles.

Friday 2:00 am. – Nearly home, they see a glowing light behind an apartment building and hear a noise that, together with the visual display, indicates that either a UFO has landed in the Art Deco district, or a huge transformer is blowing up on top of a neighbor’s building. They decide it’s probably best to get out of the standing water and battering rain while the power lines are coming down.

Friday 1:00 pm. – Cyrus walks around snapping some shots as the ‘hood as cleanup crews work feverishly to make sure that Mariah, and MTV, don’t hold this against us. Photos of the destruction will be posted soon, for my disaster junky friends

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Behind The Wheel

I know everyone thinks that traffic in their neck of the woods is the worst in the nation and that drivers in their city are the most awful. But, really, as anyone who has been to Miami can attest, we really do have the most preposterous obstacle course highways in North America. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve just given up on getting to my destination, and have turned around and gone home, to spend another hour looking for parking. For example – I-95. It begins somewhere near the Canadian border and it’s possible to drive down I-95 from Maine through New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and down through Georgia to Jacksonville. As you enter the Miami area, all rules, courtesies and manners are to be thrown out the window. No, really. Your life depends on it. You’ve got to be all adrenaline and dilated pupils to make it from Aventura to Miami Beach alive. You will need to maneuver around grandmas sitting on phone books to see over the steering wheel while driving 40mph in the fast lanes, Haitian tap tap drivers, lost and frightened German tourists and street moto-racers living out their “2 Fast, 2 Furious” fantasies while weaving in and out at 140mph. I can deal with all of them. But, I am totally out of patience with morons meandering their way, from one lane to one three lanes over, while talking on their cell phones and accelerating and decelerating intermittently and without any outside stimulus. Can we please just change the HOV lanes (which seemed like a good idea) into lanes strictly reserved for self-important idiots on cell phones, so the rest of us can get back to driving aggressively and recklessly?

Friday, August 19, 2005

To: Cindy in Crawford

Dear Cindy,

I just wanted to let you know that it’s working. We can feel your pain, and they are afraid. They’ve done everything in their power, to camouflage the painful reality of their misdeeds and miscalculations. They banned media coverage of dead sons and daughters coming home, so as not to upset a public already immersed in runaway brides and missing white, middle-class co-eds in Aruba. They are afraid that we will see the truth in a flag-draped coffin. They arrogantly refuse to meet with you, and the world, to explain where the weapons of mass destruction are, where Osama bin Laden is or where America’s dignity is as Halliburton profits in death. They won’t meet with you because they are afraid. They are afraid that we will see the grief, anger and goodness in the heart of a woman who lost her child for nothing. They are afraid of a woman who has nothing left to lose.

The evening before last, I joined over a hundred others in candlelit solidarity with you, Cindy. Over 1000 similar gatherings happened all across the nation. Millions of us wish we could take away your pain, and millions of us are encouraged by your bravery and determination to stand alongside a road in Texas, and demand accountability from the most powerful man in the world. Millions of us are waking up, with terrible resolve, and they know it. And they are afraid.

With much love,